Hand of the Inheritor

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Goblin Squad Member. Organized Play Member. 48 posts (119 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 7 Organized Play characters. 2 aliases.

Silver Crusade 3/5

I also recently just ran this recently at ConNooga. While it was an exhausting 12 hour session at the convention, the players and I had a lot of fun with the module. There was a ton going on, lots of very good roleplaying opportunities, and interesting battles.

For my party I had :
Barbarian 11 (Damage Dealer)
Barbarian 11 (Polearm Tripper)
Sorcerer 11
Cleric of Sarenrae 11
Druid 11 (Frog animal companion)
Monk 11

Spoiler Warning for Ruby Phoenix Tournament


I had the PCs given their mission by the Society at the Grand Lodge. They were then teleported to Goka, and were then transported to the island for the tournament. On the boat ride I managed to get the party to talk more about their abilities and accomplishments to Risha then may have been wise.

At the Noodle House the party met with Marthysan and Kiang Zhen, and got to be familiar with them. I used Kiang as their regular contact on where they were supposed to go, and someone who in general liked to taunt the party.

The party monk accepted Chung Po’s challenge for a nonlethal exhibition bout before the tournament within the Noodle House. But the PC monk soon found himself in over his head against his opponent and found himself surrendering before he was grinded into a pulp.

Day 1:

Round 1
The party quickly beat down the Monks of the Enduring Spirit. Fun, but not a whole lot of meat to the affair.

Test 1
The monk and two barbarian PCs attempted this challenge. The monk was unable to break the coconut, the reach barbarian was foiled by the iron bar, and the damage barbarian was unable to break the stone.

The Headless One
The party did very well in this encounter due to nearly everyone either being immune to poison through various magical items or other abilities, or having high Fort Saves. Though the party did use a Gust of Wind on a Cloudkill, and blew the Cloudkill into the audience. Killing dozens of people by accident. But the monster itself was pretty quickly dispatched.

Night 1
During the night the party ate the poisoned food and beverages. But once again due to their virtual immunity to poisons, most of them were fine except for the sorcerer in the party who needed to have a few Lesser Restoration’s cast on him to fix him back up.

The party decided to investigate the matter. The party spotted the group of Aspis Consortium mercenaries at the Noodle House. Who I described as being the same group of Aspis mercenaries in Blood Under Absalom due to their very similar stats, and to form a bit of continuity in the story. The PCs noticed that were not eating or drinking anything from the restaurant, and believed they were the culprits. A Detect Thoughts spells confirmed they knew about the poisoning, but it was the Golden League behind it. After some spiteful insults, bickering, and chest thumping, the PCs decided to back down for now due to not having any proof of the Aspis’s wrong doing and not wanting to get disqualified for attacking another team outside of a match.

Day 2:

Due to none of the PCs being particularly good at archery, they declined the invitation for this contest.

Exhibition 2
The PCs managed to quickly remove Yasi from the fight with a Grease spell, and then either Greased her minions or chopped them down. Quickly ending this fight without much trouble.

Round 2
The NPC for this battle never even got an action off when the Sorcerer hit her with a Persistent Hideous Laughter, and I failed the saves. The party then proceeded to beat her into oblivion without skipping a beat.

Night 2
The PCs decided to investigate the suspected sabotaging of the tournament, and discovered that the Golden League was trying to rig fights to win bets. They discovered some other incidents of poisoning, and other attempts to disrupt the tournament.

Day 3:

The PCs were invited to watch a match with Nashota Bloodhoof from Kortos Envoy in it. She was then crushed to death by a falling sabotaged tower. Much to the surprise, anger, and frustration of my players who had played that scenario. They were not happy with those responsible to say the least.

Exhibition 3
The PCs decided to throw their damage barbarian into this fight in the hopes of bringing it to a conclusion with one decisive swing. Unfortunately for them the NPC won initiative, and hit the PC with one spell after another, badly hurting him, and nearly killing his animal companion for the fight. But he did finally close the distant, and won the battle with a single strike.

Round 3
The PCs took a slight beating in this battle due to the environment and the NPCs abilities, but they did not have too much trouble considering they made their saves against most of the spells I threw at them, and they finished each enemy off in due order once they closed into melee.

Test 3
This test gave the PCs quite the beating. The reach barbarian got hit with a Dominate Person, and was told to tell the Emissary of their failure to complete the test. Thus removing him from the battle. The rest of the battle involved the PCs trying to figure out where their opponent was, and trying to pin their invisible opponent down, and overcome her tactical advantage. After going back and forth for awhile, the Sorcerer managed to convince Tsavati that if she gave them the bracelet, they will tell the Emissary that she had done exceptionally well during the test. She agreed, and handed over the bracelet.

Night 3
The PCs decided to have another meal at the Noodle House, and were ambushed by the Xun. They nearly managed to kill one of the PCs before the PCs got their feet under them, and dispatched them in quick order. They convinced the island’s officials to keep the Noodle House open despite all the incidents that had happened there.

Day 4:

Round 4
The PCs did not have too much trouble with this battle. They succeeded on most of their saves against Hok Fung’s spells, and the PC Monk simply flew up to him, and beat him into submission. The leech swarms only took a little more time to deal with.

Exhibition 4
The party decided to accept the Emmisary’s challenge to slay Huyanwo, and became excited by the prospect. They followed the directions to his lair. Seeing that it was largely underwater, the Druid decided to animal shape into a dolphin and scout the area out. He discovered the treasure there, but then saw that Huyanwo was swimming up from behind him. He tried to get away from the dragon by swimming as fast as he could down the coast, but was soon found out Huyanwo was significantly fast then him. Seeing that the Druid the dragon were swimming down the coast, they followed.

What followed was a pretty brutal slugfest. Having isolated himself from the party, the Druid was killed by Huyanwo when he tried to get away from him. The rest of the party was getting pretty badly beat up by Huyanwo, and it was quickly turning into a TPK situation. But the Sorcerer managed to turn things around when he successfully Feebleminded Huyanwo, and then scared him off with an illusion of a gargantuan red dragon. Though they did fail to kill the Huyanwo, they did managed to defeat him by chasing him away.

Test 4
The cleric was easily able to pass these various tests due to his Necklace of Adaptation, a couple spells, and high saves.

Night 4
The party discovered that Marthysan had been kidnapped, and proceeded to go to the docks when they found the note. There they discovered the Aspis mercenaries. After some banter back and forth the PCs decided to take their frustrations for the various sabatoge efforts out of the mercenaries and attacked them. Besides the barbarian nearly being slain due to the combined efforts of the Aspis’s two front liners, they were able to beat the mercenaries without too much trouble. None of the Aspis mercenaries were allowed to survive, and Marthysan was rescued.

Day 5:

Round 5
I’m sorry to say that this round was basically a waste of time and word count for the module. I predicted this fight wouldn’t last more than two rounds. It didn’t last one. The Sorcerer hit the NPC with a Persistent Hideous Laughter, and the party mauled the NPC to death in quick order without him ever standing a chance.

Exhibition 5
This exhibition has a chance towards becoming very nasty of the PCs. The damage barbarian was knocked down from full HP to nearly dead during a single full round attack.

Statblock Error: I rechecked this after the fact, but I’m pretty sure that orc double axe should have a X3 to its critical instead of 19-20.

Test 5
I decided to skip this due to nearly running 11 hours by this point, and the players in general looking exhausted by the module.

Final Round
If it wasn’t for the Gomwai’s immunity to fear, the PCs would have killed him outright with a Phantasmal Killer. This battle went on for awhile, but the PCs were eventually able to overwhelm their opponents through numbers. The damage barbarian, who took the brunt of Gomwai’s punishment, was nearly killed. But otherwise the PCs were just too much for his team.

The Twins Revenge
For the ambush I had Dizhen hiding in the audience to keep the PCs from noticing her spellcasting, and dissuade them from merely area effect spells and killing innocent audience members. Jufeng in turn summoned up a storm in order for there to be high enough winds to make it very difficult for the PCs to fly up to her (you would be surprised how few PCs depend on Boots of Flying and Potions of Flying, but never take ranks in Fly). The PCs were unfortunate in that they were all clustered together at the end of the final round, and were all capture by a Forecage. But the Sorcerer saved the day with a Greater Dispel, and dispelled the Forcecage.

The PCs spent a great deal of time trying to pin down and then close their opponents while getting bombarded with spells. They first spotted Dizhen in the audience, got up to her, and killed her. It took a bit longer, and they took quite a bit of damage before a mixture of See Invisibility, Invisibility Purge, and Glitterdust allowed them to pin down Jufeng. The Sorcerer hit her with a Feeblemind, and they then chased her down and killed her when she fled in a confused panic. This fight by far took the longest, and that had a lot to do with me using every trick I could come up with to keep the PCs on their toes, and use the environment and spells available to maximum effect to make this a worthy challenge.

Conclusion and Opinions on the Ruby Phoenix Tournament
Overall I rank this module very highly. There were a lot of fun moments in it, some good roleplaying opportunities, and a few great combat encounters. It very much felt like a martial arts tournament in a high fantasy world, and my players said they had a lot of fun playing it.

That said, there were some problems I found. First off, I just do not think Performance Combat works within the context of Pathfinder Society. Most PCs simply do not have the skills necessary to do remotely well in Performance Combat. On average my PCs were getting +2-3 on DC 14-30 checks. Fighter type of characters will simply not have the bonuses they need to make the audience more favorable to them, and by the end of round two of the first combat the PCs had already made the audience hostile to them, and had no virtually no chance of improving the audience’s attitude towards them. After that we pretty much gave up on Performance Combat for the night, and I had to shake my head in disappointment in how virtually no player in PFS play will ever get the related boon on their Chronicle sheet.

The combats in the module have a range of challenge to them. Some were embarrassingly easy like the fight with Seishuku (which was just embarrassingly easy in my opinion). While some could easily get a PC or even an entire party killed. One of the problems I ran into was that most of the regular rounds of the tournament just got overwhelmed by a full six PC party. These encounters were clearly designed for four PC parties, and it showed. Six PCs vs. one NPC rarely provides a challenge unless there is a major level discrepancy (which there wasn’t in this module), they have very good tactics (depends on the encounter here), and/or there are significant environmental factors (most of the battles are the strait up slugfests that PCs excel at) I think if I ran this in the future I would do what Dragnmoon did, and restrict the normal rounds to four man teams to keep it a challenge. Most of the more challenging encounters in the book were exhibition matches, and the final fight. Not the actual normal round which I figure you can get away with four PCs pretty easily.

I also want to warn other GMs that this module will require significant prep time to be ready. This is not pick up and play friendly. Ruby Phoenix Tournament is about on par with Eyes of the Ten for the amount of preparation, notes, and time it will take to be ready for play. I had to read through the module about three times, study five or more books for classes, feats, spells, and other stuff such as fluff, and take down multiple notes in order to make sure I to be prepared to run this. And even then I sometimes forgot about buffs I had up, some class features, and other minor things as I ran this over the course of 12 hours at a convention. This was such an exhausting adventure I had one player fall asleep at the table and another who just needed to step away from the table for an hour or two in addition to all the other 15-30 minute breaks we had to take. Also if you can, I would recomend try to see if you can review your player’s character sheets so that you are familiar with their abilities and you don’t get surprised at the table with something you have never seen before. I had a couple incidents where players were not familiar with how their abilities work.

Silver Crusade

Unfortunantly due to financial constraints I am going to have to cancel my Campaign Setting and Player's Companion Subscriptions for the time being.

Silver Crusade 3/5

For a more light hearted thread, I was curious who everyone’s favorite Venture-Captains or other Pathfinders were in Pathfinder Society? Either to interact with as PCs, or to run as GMs? Here are some of my own personal favorites.

Drandle Dreng: My personal favorite. Always a joy to interact and play the old man. One of the few VCs that actually seems to respect the PCs. Now if he would only get a bit more sleep…

Ospery: I always want to learn more about this guy. Definitely one of the more colorful characters in PFS. Other then the fact he seems to be a harbinger of doom given every mission he seems to send Pathfinders on goes horribly wrong. Especially the ones that seem simple.

Dennel Hamshanks: It always strikes me as funny how he always seems to be visibly disappointed to see the agents he is working with. At least when I portray him as GM I make him the biggest jerk out of any of the VCs. Though Aram Zey is right at his heels.

Silver Crusade

Unfortunantly the Beginner Box holds little appeal to me. So I request that my subscription be cancel. I plan on picking it back up for the Bestiary 3.

Silver Crusade


I have volunteered to be a Tier 1 GM at Gen Con, and I’m a subscriber to the Roleplaying Game subscription line. One of the perks for being a Tier 1 GM is that you get a free Ultimate Combat. Considering I do not particularly need two copies of the same book I was wondering what would be the best type of arrangement I could make given this somewhat unusual situation. Especially considering money is a bit tight due to having to save for Gen Con and all the books coming out in July.

I figure I could cancel my subscription for the main line of books for just Ultimate Combat, though naturally I consider the PDFs to be one of the big attractions for maintaining a subscription.


Silver Crusade

**Spoiler Warning for Sixfold Trial.**

I had some interesting turns of events involving Sian.

I had Sian decide to attack the party while they rested in the Asmodian Knot. Unfortunately for her the PCs had prepared well for just such an attack, and her ambush quickly turned against her. Soon the party monk had managed to grapple her and pin her to the ground. With the rest of the party quickly surrounding her and telling her to surrender or else, she decided discretion was the better part of valor, and surrendered to the party.

The party then proceeded to interrogate her while using some enchantments and intimidation, and managed to get plenty of important information out of her. Telling them what she was doing up in the Asmodian Knot and who had hired her. She said she attacked them because she had been told to kill anyone who interfered with her mission (somewhat of a lie), and did not mention her contact in Aberian’s Folly.

The group then decided to let her go (minus her equipment), and really surprising me, they offered Sian the opportunity to join the Children of Westcrown. They then let her out of the Asmodian Knot without further harm.

So I’ve been thrown for a bit of a loop. What shall I do with Sian now? I would like to ask everyone if I should go for her trying to go for revenge against the PCs for humiliating her, or perhaps actually have a story of redemption for Sian?

The book does not exactly give much on her background or motivations. This makes deciding her next move in this unusual situation a bit difficult for me. It says that normally she would go back to the Council of Thieves given she achieved her primary objective. I would think she would not mention the less successful parts of her mission in this case (doing so would certainly not be to her best health). She does have an alignment of LE, but that could always change especially if I go for her changing her ways.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Silver Crusade

*Warning: Some potential Spoilers.*

My group just managed to get through the sewers. We decided to call it quits before we really got into the roleplaying for the Church of Aroden, and save that for the beginning of our next game.

What I was wondering is what everyone here has done with the various NPCs in the Children of Westcrown? How did they introduce each NPC to the PCs, did you decide just to concentrate one NPC per PC, or all of them, or some other method? How much have you worked them into the adventure? Have any of you done any sub-plots with the Children? What uses have you found for them?

Any ideas or thoughts would be great.

Silver Crusade

The system says that order 1248911 was shipped out on September 16th, but I have not seen it thus far. I’ve allowed for some extra time due to the flood we have suffered here in Georgia and the fact that the road system in and around Atlanta has been completely messed up, but I am starting to become worried now that about 20 days have passed since it was shipped. I’m not sure if you can confirm if the shipment has been marked as delivered or not.

The same for my order 1258291, which was shipped out on September 21st.

From this point forward I plan on paying more for my shipment to get UPS, and so I can get access to the shipment tracking so I can keep an eye on what is going on with my packages.

I did not have problems with Paizo shipping earlier in the year, so I don’t know exactly why I am having issues now other then the floods recently.

Silver Crusade

My group just voted to do Council of Thieve as our next campaign, and we hope to start it in a couple of weeks. This is the first Paizo adventure path I will have run, so I am looking for any helpful hints or advise for running one of these. I’ve read through the first couple of adventures, and I am looking forward to running this.

It seems that a lot of the campaign is pretty flexible. Something which I do like. I guess I’m wonder how to take advantage of this.

The Children of Westcrown that the first book introduces seem like an interesting plot point. How has everyone else planned on using them? I’m thinking about making some sub-quests around them, some roleplay opportunities to build relationships, and some additional muscle when needed.

I was also wondering how much people planned things out ahead of time for these adventure paths? It would definitely seem to pay dividends to foreshadow future events, and I hope to build up a good roleplaying experience for my players.

Thanks for any help ahead of time.